Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.




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NATO's European Dimension

Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 8 MB
Downloads: 1832

Author : Security & Defence Agenda (SDA - Belgium)

The Security & Defence Agenda is proud to present this report on “NATO’s European Dimension” from the annual conference on 21 June 2010 at the Concert Noble in Brussels.
It highlights some of the input of 12 speakers and over 300 participants on the current state of EU-NATO relations in the run up to the Lisbon summit. Special attention was also given to the recommendations stemming from the first edition of the SDA’s online Security Jam.

Despite shrinking defence budgets, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for smarter spending to help NATO develop a collective approach and multinational solutions to the security challenges of the 21st century.
The conference also looked at the need for institutional change in NATO and more cohesion across the alliance. What role and capabilities should NATO acquire in a shifting global security landscape? Several  recommendations for a more modern alliance were made, such as drawing from the experience of member states in the face of economic austerity. Latvian Minister of Defence Imants Liegis reminded participants that “we need to maintain a level of ambition and not sacrifice the level of security of member states”. Other recommendations included forging strategic partnerships with Russia, key stakeholders and defence industries. Many panellists called for better coordination of civilian, military and political tools in Afghanistan. Too often, it was said, turf wars hamper a truly integrated strategy. These lessons will hopefully be echoed in NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
The global economic crisis provides an opportunity for new thinking on pooling defence procurement and multinational industrial cooperation. The imbalances in defence investment and cooperation in Afghanistan currently overshadow the EU and NATO’s potential as effective global security and defence actors.

Social Impact of Emigration and Rural-Urban Migration in Central and Eastern Europe

Date added: 11/20/2012
Date modified: 11/20/2012
Filesize: 2.82 MB
Downloads: 1683

Nathalie Bélorgey
Birgit Garbe-Emden
Sabine Horstmann
Andrea Kuhn
Dita Vogel
Paul Stubbs (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb)

The present study has been undertaken on behalf of the European Commission within the
framework of the PROGRESS programme for employment and social solidarity 2007-2013. It seeks to provide a comparative knowledge assessment on international and internal migration in Central and Eastern Europe and a policy-oriented analysis of the impacts of migration on employment and the social and territorial cohesion of the migration source countries in the region in the last two decades.
So far, analyses of the social impacts of migration have primarily focussed on migration destination countries, in particular as regards the consequences of migration for the labour markets and social protection systems of the receiving countries, without taking much into account the point of view of migration source countries. One of the most researched topics in relation to migrant source countries are remittances sent by migrants to their families and relatives at home. Aspects relating to the development potential of the Diaspora and return migration as well as to the impacts of migration on migrants' skills have also attracted growing attention in recent years. Besides this, trends and patterns of migration have been relatively well studied so far - despite the lack of reliable data - and some research on employment, poverty and social inclusion in the migrant-sending countries in the scope of this study also exists. A linkage between migration and the situation of poverty and social inclusion in the migration source countries, however, has not been made and a more comprehensive analysis on the social impacts of migration has been missing to date. The findings of the analysis help to bring the perspectives of the migration source countries into the EU migration debate(s) and to identify the key challenges of migration relevant for (the EU Common Objectives for) social protection and social inclusion, in particular in terms of poverty eradication, participation in the labour market, accessible social protection and social services, and social cohesion On the basis of identified challenges, the report provides policy suggestions for addressing the impacts of migration which might be taken into account by the national and regional authorities of migration source countries and by the EU in setting priority policies for the forthcoming programming period and preparing investments within the Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014-2020.
The results of the research are compiled into a Synthesis Report, which is based on 25 country reports elaborated by expert teams of the respective countries in the period from November 2010 until April 2012. It encompasses the 10 countries of Central and Eastern Europe which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia)1, the candidate countries and potential candidates of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,
Kosovo*2, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia) and the countries of the Eastern Partnership region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) as well as Greece and Turkey.

Fine-tuning EU Border Security

Date added: 11/13/2010
Date modified: 11/13/2010
Filesize: 641.47 kB
Downloads: 1522

A Security & Defence Agenda Report - October 2010

On September 29, the SDA welcomed keynote speaker Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Home Affairs at the European Commission, to introduce a roundtable debate featuring experts on border security from both sides of the Atlantic. Together, they discussed the changing function of borders and assessed the EU's ability to turn its internal and external borders into intelligent filters, which facilitate commerce and exchange within a wider security network.

Participants were unanimous in cknowledging the need for inter-departmental cooperation at all levels of governance to improve border security. Yet before this cooperation can take form, key priorities must be formulated into a coherent strategy. This strategy needs to accommodate the balance between openness, security, and personal privacy. It must internalize threats which begin on the other side of the globe. It must also harness technological solutions and put them at the service of principled objectives.

Much of the debate centred on how tackling such challenges requires an adequate balance of national and European border initiatives. Participants often disagreed over the best method of harmonizing these contrasting priorities, with both top-down and bottom-up methods proposed.

The State of Environmental Migration 2011

Date added: 12/07/2012
Date modified: 12/07/2012
Filesize: 12.28 MB
Downloads: 1339

Edited by
François Gemenne (IDDRI)
Pauline Brücker (IDDRI)
Dina Ionesco (IOM)

Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales


While scientific research on environmental migration has considerably expended over recent years, The State of Environmental Migration once again gathers and documents major cases of environmentally-induced migration and displacement that happened during the year 2011. It is meant to feed scholar studies and eventually political discussions. The existence itself of this volume underscores the importance of the subject, but also the complexity of the phenomenon. As we stressed last year in the 2010 edition of The State of Environmental Migration, diversity and universality are common features of environmental migration: be they labeled migrants or refugees, affected by human-made or natural events, all those migrating or being displaced seek protection, livelihood and opportunities for a safer future.

GREECE Report prepared for the SOPEMI 2010 meeting

Date added: 08/09/2012
Date modified: 08/09/2012
Filesize: 597.01 kB
Downloads: 1295




Anna Triandafyllidou and Michaela Maroufof


Greece has not been hit particularly hard by the global conomic recession that started in 2008. Actually the effects of the recession and the internal acute crisis of public finances became visible only in late 2009. The Greek crisis is less connected to the global financial recession and more to structural problems of the Greek economy (low productivity, low competitiveness), the segmentation of the Greek labour market and a public debt that has skyrocketed during the last years.
The drastic austerity measures adopted by the Greek government in spring 2010, imposed to a large extent to Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have included horizontal cuts in the salaries of public employees, increases in both direct and indirect taxes, cuts in public expenses including for instance the abolition of certain semi-public bodies and agencies and the reduction of certain types of welfare allowances. In parallel the government has introduced important changes in the national welfare and pension system, increasing the age of retirement and abolishing a large number of exceptions to the general regime, including those aimed at mothers with children who previously could retire much earlier. Further cuts in social services and welfare provisions are actually expected in the coming months as well as structural changes such as the liberalisation of all the closed professions (transport, lawyers, chemists, butchers, notaries, auditors) and of the energy market. The crisis and the measures taken to reduce the public debt and re-organise the state finances have had both a material and a psychological effect on the Greek market.
Consumption has decreased dramatically hitting hard the retail and overall trade sector as well as leisure services such as tourism and catering. Households have reduced their expenditure for vacation or eating out and have postponed or indeed cancelled any plans for the purchase of more durable goods (e.g. electric appliances, cars, but also of course the purchase of a home). For some the reason has been that they can no longer afford it, for others it was a precautionary measure, to save money and wait to see how the situation will develop in the near future. Banks have become extremely careful in giving loans to customers by fear that they will fail to repay them.
The crisis has led to an increase in unemployment rates, which in October 2010 climbed at 13.5%. However, the crisis has hit hardest the economic sectors where immigrants are largely employed. Construction in particular has been receding already in 2008-2009 as a result of the global recession but currently has reached a stalemate. The estate market is in crisis and constructors are not developing new housing projects. At the same time public works have been stopped or reduced in size, some have been postponed for the future.